Philip Rush


Think of me as Old Joe.
Think of me setting off north
with a sledge full of stuff.
To each his own skill.
Me, I capture the light
and I skin it.
I lurk amongst the leaves
of these maple trees until
I become no more
than a shadow,
no more than a story
about a bear.
Don’t listen to anyone
who’s been out here
for any length of time
and who hasn’t shouted aloud
once or twice just to hear
another human voice
echoing off whatever it is
it echoes off.
There have been
some nights
when I thought
I’d never see the sun
crawl into that infernal sky.
There have been days
I thought
I’d never see the end of,
when I’ve looked
into the water
and wondered.

Philip Rush is the deputy head of St Peter’s High School, Gloucester, where he teaches in the English department. He has taught theatre studies for 20 years and for seven years led the postgraduate training scheme for trainee English and drama teachers at the University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham. He has a degree in English from Westfield College, University of London and an MA in drama from Bristol University. He has performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe